Aloe

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Elder Sarah
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Aloe

#1 Postby Elder Sarah » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:51 pm

Greetings!

The herb Aloe is widely known in the plant world. This fleshy, jelly like herb is noted to heal multiple skin ailments like burns, scalds, scraps and sunburns. This herb also serves as a laxative and can assist in the healing of a wide variety of infections. This herb is also widely used cosmetically, to help keep the skin clear and free from imperfections. This herb shows up in multiple places in scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments.

In Numbers 24:6- Aloe comes up here in the third oracle of Balaam. Balaam has been summonsed by Balak to curse the Israelites, although the cursing cannot happen because the Spirit of the Lord keeps preventing the movement, and instead of cursing Balaam speaks a blessing. Balaam speaks four Blessings and on the third one he mentions Aloe.

“How fair are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel! Like palm groves that stretch far away, like gardens beside a river, like ALOES that the Lord has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters. Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall have abundant water.”

It ends up that Balaam through his curses cannot actually curse but blesses, yet after all of this is a curious mention of the Israelites committing fornication with the women of Moab. One wonders if this is the actual curse? Because after this a great plague falls
On the camp. This becomes evident later in Numbers 31:16, “these women here, on Balaams advise, made the Israelites act treacherously against the Lord in the affair of Peor, so that the plague came down among the congregation of the Lord.”

Now basically in Balaam’s curse he likens the encampment of the Israelites to being like Aloes the Lord planted, in other words he is saying the Lord planted the elect. This reminds of the story in Genesis of Adam and Eve at the point where the Lord drives them out of the Garden of Eden and they go out into the world to find that the earth is already inhabited by human beings. Basically the Lord plants Adam and Eve in the world amongst human beings. It is made evident that human beings already existed by the statement in Genesis 6:4, “when the sons of God went into the daughters of humans, who bore children to them.” Where did these human beings come from if it is said Adam and Eve are the first? It is curious here because essentially the same movement occurs with Adam and Eve as does the Israelites in Moab. In both situations the Elect mingle with the human beings of that region. This leads to a further connection with the herb Aloe with elucidates the mystery even more, in Proverbs 7:17 we also find a connection:

“For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice and I saw among the simple ones, I observed among the youths, a young man without sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. Then a woman comes toward him, decked out like a prostitute, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with impudent face she says to him; I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows; so now I have come out to meet you to seek you eagerly, and I have found you! I have decked my couch with coverings, colored spreads of Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with Myrrh, Aloes and Cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home, He will not be home until the Full Moon”

Here Aloe is used as a way to entice the young man into committing adultery. Now right before this phrase in Proverbs is a curious mention which advises how to guard against the mingling with adulterous affairs, “My child, keep my words and store up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live, keep my teachings as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, “you are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend, that they may keep you from the loose woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words.” What happens when one is not guarded against these affairs? This is where there is a breach in Kavvanah, a breach in the covenant. In Genesis the flood is a result of this mingling and in Numbers a vast plague is a result.

In regards to this mystery and the connection of the herb Aloe the contemplation comes upon the duel aspect of the herb. On the one hand you have an herb capable of assisting with many skin aliments, an herb that can help with sunburns and infections, an herb that can bandage skin. This herb can make our skin pimple free and shiny. These are all wonderful things! On the other hand though, what happens if we get over consumed with outward appearance and with using this herb in a way that might distract from our Soul being, a way that caters only to how one appears to others. There is a great mystery in all the ways we might mingle in adultery; in the ways we might block the influence of our Neshamah.

This mystery is made even more evident in John 19:39

“Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Yeshua and along with Nicodemus at night they came with a mixture of myrrh and Aloes, weighting about a hundred pounds. They wrapped it with the mixture of spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.”

Here we find the duality brought into unity. To apply the herb to the body after death offers respect and honor to the body, respecting the vessel in which the Light Presence of the Christos dwelled. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus along with the use of these herbs are laying the body of Yeshua to rest in dignity and reverence, recognizing the true place of physicality. How beautiful!

Praise unto the Holy Shekinah whom endlessly reveals the mysteries regarding her gifts!

Many Blessings and Shalom
Sister Sarah+

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Practical Aloe Tips

#2 Postby MaoShan » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:21 pm

There's much to consider in your insight, I'm glad I caught it tonight.
My only non-human companion is my aloe plant. I treat him with respect, and only take from him enough to heal from injuries, which he is happy to give, and he has thrived since just being a little tiny sprout. I wanted to share a little of my practical experiences with aloe.
Much like a cactus, aloe's leaves can cause pain if you don't approach it with the proper respect and awareness. Not only from actual contact with its spiky leaves, but also from the use of his products.
The vera gel is in the center, and the latex (laxative) is on the interior (closer to the skin), but there's no really clear line between the two, so if you are not careful you will get either an admixture of gel and latex, or just latex. If you use only the pure gel on your skin or wound, it is wondrous for it, no products that "contain" aloe vera come close to the smoothness that the actual thing provides. However, if you get the latex in your wound or spread it on your hands, not only does it have an unpleasant smell, it also is likely to actually infect your wound, rather than speed recovery. So the parallels in this way to higher subjects are obvious. So remember: Pay Attention! 8)
"You think that's air you're breathing?"-Morpheus

Elder Sarah
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mystery of aloe

#3 Postby Elder Sarah » Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:30 pm

Greetings MaoShan,

Thank you for sharing your experience with the herb Aloe. I was not aware of the duel aspect within the actual plant. This apparent duel function definately parallels the contemplation! I also enjoy the similarity to cactus you bring up, and it’s spiky defense system. It sounds as though this companion of yours has taught you much about it’s energy and curiously this energy is similar to that which is painted out in scripture regarding this plant. It seems this is a large part of scripture, painting a picture, which reveals the energy dimention; it is truly the revealed Word of the Lord. This revealed Word exist in all our relations and is made known by all our relations.

Praise be to the revealed word!

Many Blessings and Shalom
Sister Sarah+

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a force that moves two ways.

#4 Postby Marion » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:06 pm

Shalom All!

What wonderful contemplations!
What is really unique about aloe I think is it's power. I have never met a plant with quite the healing capacity before, maybe this is the reason it is so widely used! no one could deny that it drasticaly helps with skin ailments and other things. But, as you both have pointed out, it has this other side, which perhaps is not so helpful. What came to mind here is how when something can be used for good, the same thing can also be used for ill. It is all about the intention of the person. As we see in scripture, on the one hand the aloe seems to be driving out klippotic forces, protecting and healing the Children of Israel... Invoking light power (much like we do in the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram). And on the other hand it is actually invoking and aiding those same forces of klippot! By leading a person to mingle with these klippotic forces. Therefore, aloe seems to be a great force of power, like a sword moving this way and that, what it does is in the hands of the weilder. And like a sword, one cannot just pick an aloe plant haphazardly. you cannot pick up a sword by its blade! only by the hilt. So, aloe is teaching is self restraint, and Kavanah (cleaving). This reminds me of the saying: "Whom does the grail serve?"

May all be liberated, all according to your Divine Grace and Glory Oh Holy One! Amen.

Blessings and Shalom,

Marion

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#5 Postby sophia-suzette » Tue May 13, 2008 4:17 am

Greetings and Shalom!

Aloes are also one of my favourite plants. Here we are heading for winter solstice, the Feast of the Divine Mother and Child, yet at this relative time of darkening the Aloes are coming into full flower. It never cease to fill me with joy seeing their burning red flowers, like candalabras in the otherwise stark winter landscape. Indeed like heralds of the sun in the coldest darkest time of the years. The flowers burst forth from the sap of bitterness, and brings sweetness to the light. The flowers are always surrounded by birds, delighting in its sweetness - a favourite of the malachite sunbird. Personally the Aloes holds for me the same symbolism as the rainbow - fleeting too is the glory of their brilliant flowering, yet their it is not the flower that they are valued for, but for the bitter healing sap hidden in their thorny leaves.

Blessings,
Sophia-Suzette

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#6 Postby Marion » Sun May 18, 2008 4:46 pm

wow! thank you so much for you wonderful insight on this plant! that is deffinitly something that we in the states don't get to experience! you know, that aloe flower really reminds me of the Kniphofia or red-hot poker. I love these plants because they're flowers always reminded me of the Bride and I wonder if the Aloe has a similar connection as well???

Blessings and Shalom!

Marion

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#7 Postby sophia-suzette » Mon May 19, 2008 12:16 am

Greetings and Shalom!

Indeed the Kniphofia are also coming into flower now. Their heads are also standing ready to burst into flame, the flowers are indeed very similar. In Afrikaans we call them "Vuurpyle" - fire arrows. The genus Kniphofia is very closely related to the genus Aloe. As a result, the first Kniphofia to be described, namely K. uvaria, was mistakenly thought to be an Aloe and was thus initially named Aloe uvaria. Kniphofia are also frequented by nectar-feeding birds such as sunbirds and sugarbirds. The flowers of some species of Kniphofia are used as by some as a minor food and taste like honey.

K. parviflora have been made into a traditional snake repellent, interesting the association with serpents. Most Kniphofia species, however, are found growing near rivers or in places where conditions will become damp or marshy for part of the year. (Only a small number of species prefer dry conditions with good drainage.) This gives the Kniphofia a strong association with water, and although the Aloe grows more in drier areas its planetary association is Moon and Water. This together with its link to embalming, strongly links it for me to the Bride. Myrrh the other spice mentioned to embalm the body of Christ John 19:39. also has the association of Moon and Water. Extracts of the Aloe leaves are also traditionally used in childbirth.

Here another use of Aloes are for protection. In many parts of South Africa Aloe arborescens is planted around kraals (domestic stock enclosures) as a living fence. The amaZulu use the dried crushed leaves as a protection against storms. This reminds me of the Mother protecting her children, which can often be seen as wrathful when looked at through limited perception.

A very popular folk remedy here for children bitting their nails, used to be painting Aloe juice on the nails. Children often saw this as a punishment, however what the bitter taste actually did was to bring an awareness of the unconscious habit, and so cure them of the habit. This reminds me very much of how the so called bitter aspects of life brings us awareness of our unconscious habits, thus the purifying fire. It further reminds me of the teaching from Gevurah that "it is the self-restraint that human beings exercise upon themselves in order to draw near to God and unite with God." In the unconscious state "self-restraint" is seen as a punishment and not as the blessing it is. This too is then another message I see in the Aloe.

Blessings,
Sophia-Suzette

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#8 Postby MaoShan » Sat May 24, 2008 7:52 pm

I can understand the associations of aloe with the moon and water, as she (being a succulent) makes do with what resources (water) she can get, and wisely saves up so that she will be prepared when hard times arise. Moon/feminine/wisdom/water seem to be somewhat related...
"You think that's air you're breathing?"-Morpheus


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